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The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too

Updated August 19, 2020 66.7k votes 4.6k voters 65.1k views77 items

List RulesVote up the best intelligent movies, or those that are smart, clever, etc.

No matter what kind of movies you're into, we can all agree intelligent movies can be a nice change of pace. Regardless of genre, these types of movies give us moviegoers more than simple entertainment—they make us think, opening our eyes to things we may not have previously considered. Simply put, smart and clever movies can evoke emotion within viewers and actually have something to take away once the credits roll. In most other cases, we're simply captivated for a couple hours before turning the TV off or leaving the theater and moving on to something else.

Whether a movie incorporates social commentary or offers perspective different than most of our own, intelligent movies stand the test of time and often go down as the greatest movies of all time. From intelligent sci-fi films to thought-provoking dramas, there's a smart movie out there for everyone, and then some. For instance, consider the mind-bending Inception or the ever-interesting Matrix, not to mention classics like Forrest Gump and Alien. These movies don't just bring sheer entertainment to the silver screen, but they also make us think—maybe even more than we'd like to. Regardless, the intelligent movies to follow cover a broad range of genres and subjects, and ultimately add to the entire experience.

If you're feeling smart and want to test your intelligence, check out some of the popular films below. Of course, also be sure to vote up the best intelligent movies, vote others down, and add your own choices to the list. And if you like these movies, check out our list of great movies about smart people.

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  • 1
    Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
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    Forrest Gump

    Tom Hanks, Sally Field

    Released1994

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

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    The Green Mile is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
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    The Green Mile

    Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise

    Released1999

    Directed byFrank Darabont

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    The Shawshank Redemption is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
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    817

    The Shawshank Redemption

    Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth

    Released1994

    Directed byFrank Darabont

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  • 4
    Saving Private Ryan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
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    479

    Saving Private Ryan

    Tom Hanks, Matt Damon

    Released1998

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 5
    The Sixth Sense is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
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    The Sixth Sense

    Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton

    Released1999

    Directed byM. Night Shyamalan

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    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nes is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
    1,103
    568

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito

    Released1975

    Directed byMiloš Forman

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  • 7
    Good Will Hunting is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
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    Good Will Hunting

    Ben Affleck, Robin Williams

    Released1997

    Directed byGus Van Sant

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  • 8
    The Usual Suspects is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
    1,185
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    The Usual Suspects

    Kevin Spacey, Benicio del Toro

    Released1994

    Directed byBryan Singer

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  • 9
    Back to the Future is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
    487
    252

    Back to the Future

    Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd

    Released1985

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

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  • 10
    A Beautiful Mind is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
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    A Beautiful Mind

    Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe

    Released2001

    Directed byRon Howard

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  • 11
    The Matrix is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
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    The Matrix

    Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving

    Released1999

    Directed byAndy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

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  • 12
    Fight Club is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
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    Fight Club

    Brad Pitt, Jared Leto

    Released1999

    Directed byDavid Fincher

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  • 13
    The Departed is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
    855
    501

    The Departed

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson

    Released2006

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

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  • 14
    Groundhog Day is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
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    Groundhog Day

    Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell

    Released1993

    Directed byHarold Ramis

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  • 15
    Gladiator is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
    857
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    Gladiator

    Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix

    Released2000

    Directed byRidley Scott

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  • 16
    Toy Story is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
    374
    208

    Toy Story

    Tom Hanks, Tim Allen

    Released1995

    Directed byJohn Lasseter

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  • 17
    The Imitation Game is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
    809
    514

    The Imitation Game

    Keira Knightley, Benedict Cumberbatch

    Released2014

    Directed byMorten Tyldum

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  • 18
    The Dark Knight is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
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    601

    The Dark Knight

    Christian Bale, Michael Caine

    Released2008

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

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  • 19
    Inception is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
    1,200
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    Inception

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy

    Released2010

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

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  • 20
    The Martian is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
    718
    491

    The Martian

    Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain

    Released2015

    Directed byRidley Scott

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  • 0
  • 21
    Alien is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
    618
    418

    Alien

    Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt

    Released1979

    Directed byRidley Scott

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    The Truman Show is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
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    The Truman Show

    Jim Carrey, Paul Giamatti

    Released1998

    Directed byPeter Weir

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  • 23
    Shutter Island is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
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    699

    Shutter Island

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Williams

    Released2010

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

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    V for Vendetta is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
    705
    525

    V for Vendetta

    Natalie Portman, John Hurt

    Released2005

    Directed byJames McTeigue

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  • 25
    The Prestige is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
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    571

    The Prestige

    Scarlett Johansson, David Bowie

    Released2006

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

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